When you’re pregnant, it’s safe to eat these cheeses as long as they are cooked. It’s important to make sure the cheese is thoroughly cooked until it’s steaming hot all the way through.
Soft cheese and listeria
Pregnant women are advised not to eat some types of soft cheese because they can contain listeria bacteria. Cheeses to avoid include:
- soft, mould-ripened cheeses such as camembert, brie or chèvre (a type of goats’ cheese) and others with a similar rinds
- soft blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish blue, gorgonzola and roquefort
A bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, which usually causes flu-like symptoms and diarrhoea, but can lead to serious problems such as miscarriage or stillbirth, or severe illness in a newborn baby.
Thorough cooking should kill any bacteria, so it should be safe to eat cooked soft cheeses or dishes that contain them, such as baked brie or deep-fried camembert. Hard blue cheeses such as stilton are safe to eat without cooking.